Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/213592
Authors: 
Gaebler, Stefanie
Potrafke, Niklas
Rösel, Felix
Year of Publication: 
2019
Series/Report no.: 
ifo Working Paper No. 315
Abstract: 
We examine whether compulsory voting influences political participation as measured by voter turnout, invalid voting, political interest, confidence in parliament, and party membership. In Austria, some states temporarily introduced compulsory voting in national elections. We investigate border municipalities across two states which differ in compulsory voting legislation using a difference-in-differences approach. The results show that compulsory voting increased voter turnout by 3.5 percentage points but we do not find long-run effects. Once compulsory voting was abolished, voter turnout returned to pre-compulsory voting levels. Microdata evidence suggests that compulsory voting tends to crowd out intrinsic motivation for political participation which may explain why compulsory voting is not found to be habit-forming.
Subjects: 
Compulsory voting
election
voter turnout
difference-in-differences
Austria
JEL: 
D72
P16
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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